His mother was still angry with him, and he had to admit that he’d been naughty that day, even by the standards of a normal thirteen-year-old. He hadn’t meant to drop the pitcher when she had sent him to the well for water. He had tried to explain to her that it wasn’t his fault he had tripped over a stone—that bit at least was true. What he hadn’t told her was that he had been chasing a stray dog at the time. And then there was that pomegranate: How was he to know that it was the last one, and that his father had taken a liking to them?
The young Roman was now dreading his father’s return and the possibility that he might be given another leathering. He could still recall the last one: He hadn’t been able to sit down for two days without being reminded of the pain, and the thin red scars hadn’t completely disappeared for three weeks.